Spring Frittata with Storage Onion, Over-Wintered Spinach and Duck Egg

“Finches and sparrows build nests in my chimney with remains of the small flightless birds that you failed to protect.”

Andrew Bird – Spare Ohs

Two days after we made this yummy frittata the fox came. He ate all our ducks and one of our chickens. The fox: I feel like I know him. I see him all the time. He prances under streetlights when I go for a run. He sprints across the street, in front of my truck when I’m coming home from work. The fox lives in a burrow under the railroad tracks a block or so from here. He stalks the neighborhood. And he’s taken our birds before. We’ve lost at least three other chickens to the fox. He comes at night and kills birds. Not that I blame him. It’s his nature, we know that and we’re the ones who’ve failed to protect the birds.

Obviously, we didn’t know we were going to lose our ducks when we made this frittata. But, in retrospect, having considered all the special things we could have done with our last ever duck eggs, I’m glad we made this recipe. It was the perfect “bridge” recipe, bringing together the last few seasons on our tiny farm. We used storage onion grown last fall, spinach tended over the winter and fresh duck eggs from this spring. Continue reading Spring Frittata with Storage Onion, Over-Wintered Spinach and Duck Egg

Potatoes and Latkes

I’m two weeks late with this post, just like I was with almost everything else on the farm this year. Maybe I should give it up, shutter the farm and start a defense contracting firm instead. Over-budget and behind schedule; my laxitude would probably play better there.

Potato latkes are as seasonally appropriate to December as peaches are to August or roast green chilies are to September. Religious tradition aside, it’s just a matter of food availability. For millennia potatoes have been among our staple storage crops. In the winter, from December through March, when it’s very difficult to grow fresh food, we’ve relied on them. We’ve pulled them from deep, dark root cellars, cooked them a thousand different ways and eaten. So,  it makes perfect sense that latkes would be at home in December. They were what was available.

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Fall Planting

Fall-Spinach3

It’s the middle of September but it feels like springtime all over again. The days have been warm, the nights have been cold, the grow room is full of plants and once again, lamentably, we have a lot of work to do. Thankfully, fall planting should be our last big push of the year, then we can rest. I’m looking forward to the rest. But before we get there, we still have to put in a few thousand transplants, plant the alliums, direct seed carrots and mache, build some hoops, frame out the ends of our tall hoops, get everything protected against the winter cold and prep our dormant beds for next year. It’ll be a lot of work but it’ll be over soon enough. One last big push.

Fall-Spinach2-2

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Life Under the Quick Hoops

Spinach-under-hoop

It’s not winter yet but you wouldn’t know it for looking around. November 14th and we’ve already had three hard freezes and more than a foot of snow. The roads have been crappy and we’ve had to close the store early a couple times to get our folks home safely. That being said, all is well in the winter garden. Everything we planted under the quick hoops is alive, healthy and growing. The veggies we’ve harvested have been great. Cold weather  definitely improves a lot of vegetables.

For the first time ever we’re feeling good about the winter garden. In the past we were never able to really get it going. We’d futz around, building cold frames and laying things out but we always ran out of time before getting deep into the actual gardening. The cold frames were the problem. They’re clunky, fragile and expensive. They’re also time consuming to build, awkward to store and crazy heavy. Trying to get them up swallowed all our time.

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